The flood situation in Assam, Meghalaya, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Jammu is expected to deteriorate further with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday predicting more rainfall over north-eastern, northern and central regions of the country in the next few days.
“Heavy to very heavy rain is likely at places over coastal Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, east Uttar Pradesh, east Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya, Gujarat region, Saurashtra, Kutch and Kerala,” IMD stated in its latest bulletin for next couple of days.
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal said that the current wave of flood has claimed 12 lives. “The current flood has affected almost all constituencies and has become a serious problem. It has claimed 12 lives so far and hit nearly 16 lakh people mainly across 16 districts,” Sonowal said in the assembly.
The worst-affected areas are the Upper Assam districts that include Lakhimpur, Jorhat. Sivasagar and Dhemaji. About one lakh hectare of agricultural land has been adversely impacted by the floods.
Meanwhile, members in the Lok Sabha expressed concern over the flood situation in various parts of the country and asked the government to take urgent steps to tackle the situation. With monsoon remaining active in most parts of Uttar Pradesh, major rivers of the state such as Ghagra and Sharda are flowing above the danger level at various places.
According to IMD, the quantum of rainfall during June 1-July 27 has been close to 417 mm which is at par with the benchmark Long Period Average (LPA). Till now, 34% of the country’s area has got ‘excess’ rainfall while 46% has received ‘normal’ rainfall. Only 20% area has received deficient rainfall.
With the exception of Saurashtra, Kutch, Gujarat regions and Bihar where rainfall has been ‘deficient’, most of the regions across the country have so far received ‘normal’ or ‘excess’ monsoon rainfall. While June rainfall constitute 18% of the total rainfall received during monsoon period (June- September), the showers during July (33%) and August (29%) are critical for kharif crops sowing.
Excess monsoon rainfall especially since the beginning of the month has boosted sowing of kharif crops such as rice, pulses, oilseeds and cotton besides improving the water level in 91 key reservoirs across the country.
According to ministry of agriculture data released last week, the kharif sowing so far has surpassed last year’s by more than 3%. The kharif crops have been sown in over 692 lakh hectare so far. The government has set the grain production target at 270.10 MT for the 2016-17 crop year, up 6.7% from the last year.